Gubernatorial candidate Robert Massie’s communications director, Mara Dolan, has quit the campaign after six weeks — a sign of financial trouble for the Democrat before the state party’s endorsement convention next month.
Dolan said her decision to leave the Massie campaign was based on “finance.”
As of May 15, Massie had $18,006 in his campaign account — a pittance for any candidate attempting to mount a respectable showing at the June 2 convention and in the Sept. 4 primary. He has raised $342,617 since entering the race to challenge Governor Charlie Baker last year, including $75,000 in loans made to his political committee.
Asked about Dolan’s abrupt departure, Massie, in a phone interview, said she had trouble working with his staff and had requested a high salary that put a strain on his campaign budget.
“She’s a very strong person,’’ he said. Of her work, Massie added, “She’s very demanding.”
Dolan declined to respond to Massie’s characterization, only offering, “I very much enjoyed working with all the dedicated staffers and volunteers on the Bob Massie campaign.”
Massie’s campaign paid Dolan a $5,500-per-month salary, she confirmed. The campaign has about a half-dozen paid staff.
Party rules require Massie to get 15 percent of the delegate vote to qualify for the Democratic primary ballot, which insiders say is an easy hurdle for him as he competes for the party endorsement with former Patrick administration budget chief Jay Gonzalez.
“I am happy with where we are,” Massie said. But he also acknowledged the weakness of his financial position.
“Certainly it remains a challenge,’’ he said. “But it’s a people’s campaign.”
While he struggles financially, the convention offers Massie, an environmental activist, a chance to jump-start his campaign. He’ll have the opportunity to address about 5,000 delegates, many of whom have traditionally been part of the party’s progressive wing.
Whichever candidate gets a majority of delegate support will receive the party’s endorsement.
The financial struggles facing the gubernatorial candidates come, ironically, as the party experiences a surge in activism among its grass roots, mostly stirred by the strong passions aimed at President Trump.
Dolan previously served as director of communications for former Senate president Stanley C. Rosenberg. She resigned her Senate job last month, she said, because she wanted a larger platform to promote Democratic issues. Her resignation came as Rosenberg was battling allegations he allowed his troubled husband to have access to the chamber’s business.
Massie’s struggle to gain a financial foothold comes after a decision by a third candidate, former Newton mayor Setti Warren, to drop out of the race last month. Warren cited Baker’s huge financial advantage — he has more than $8 million in his committee account — as the major reason for pulling the plug on his candidacy.Frank Phillips can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.